Memorial Day Onlist Challenge

War and Remembrance

10. Flickers in the Night

I try to close my eyes, but I cannot. Sleep did not come to me this night, of all nights, when I would have willingly surrendered myself to the relief that comes through dreams... Dreams do not bring me comfort; but, tonight, I would have traded any dream, be it dark or foul, if only I could escape the glimmer of those stars! I can see them all above, clusters of bright, glittering stars; and, with my finger I can trace their outlines, seeing their shapes as they form in my mind, trying to remember what I used to know, when the world was kinder and simpler. I see them, glinting from their skyward dwellings, calling to me, speaking to me... do I dare listen? I fear I will not wish to hear what they have to say; not tonight.

I see them, although the night is black and threatens to choke me: Obrothmabar first, as it swings in the sky-waves until it reaches the
shores of Dol Amroth; and the Swan, too, keeping the Eagle company as sentinels of the air and sea. Menelvagor is there, the Swordsman of the sky, with its shining belt of jewels; and the Archer... the Archer, too, is there. Does he know I also have a bow? Does he know... does he know I killed a man today?

I shudder in shame. How could I? And yet, I had known for a long time
that this day would come. I had known it, and I had accepted the demands of my duty, not even stopping for once to think of what it would imply. But, this is my duty; I hope that the Valar, and the Stars, and Men will be able to forgive me, if only because I do it to defend that which I love. I never thought that love demanded such a great price.

It matters not, in the end. Whether I do it for duty's sake, or for love's sake, as I have told my mind all this day, it matters not. There is one man who will not return home, because of me. He was surely somebody's friend, and somebody's son. What will his mother think of it, when she hears? And his father? Will his people honor him? He died defending them, just as I try to defend Gondor. He seemed quite young, only a year or two older than I. I wonder whether he had a lass waiting for him... I wonder whether he had a brother...

As I continue my perusal of the heavens, I feel as one who stands upon judgement. I see the prow of Earendil's ship as it traverses the night sky, but its dazzling light brings me no joy. I see the stars, and I wish I could close my eyes and get rid of them! Their reflection haunts me so! But, I cannot; for, even when I shut my lids tight, I still see a pair of searing hazel-colored flickers...


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/28/03

Original Post: 05/25/03

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